Hunt is on for Falkirk photographer who snapped world famous 1990 UFO picture

UFO hunters usually search the skies but now their pursuit of the unknown has come down to earth as they try to locate the photographer responsible for capturing the world famous 1990 Calvine UFO image.
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A small team led by Dr David Clarke, of Sheffield Hallam University, has been conducting research into the Scottish UFO case which sparked worldwide interest when a photograph resurfaced last year over 30 years after it was taken.

According to reports, on August 4, 1990, two young men, who were working at a hotel in Pitlochry, were taking a stroll on the A9 to Calvine near the Cairngorms when they saw a huge diamond-shaped object, about 100 feet long, hovering silently in the sky above them.

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Minutes later an RAF Tornado fighter jet circled the object and one of the hotel workers on the ground below took his camera out and snapped a few pictures before the object shot vertically upwards and disappeared into the night sky.

A copy of one of the images captured in Calvine back in 1990A copy of one of the images captured in Calvine back in 1990
A copy of one of the images captured in Calvine back in 1990

The hotel staff took their photos to a national newspaper, but no story was ever printed and it was said the photographs were passed to the Ministry of Defence.

A copy of one of the images made headlines when it reappeared last year.

Matthew Illsley, a member of Dr Clarke’s research project, believes one of the hotel workers who saw the UFO that night over 30 years ago comes from the Falkirk area.

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He said: “On the back of the original photo we acquired last year is the name of the photographer, but we have not released this information into the public domain. During our research, though, we have confirmed the man in question did live in Pitlochry in 1990/1991 while working as a kitchen porter at a hotel.

"We have also traced a number of his former colleagues, one of whom says he knew the photographer well during their time together. This witness is also adamant the photographer was not a Perthshire native, but he was actually from the Falkirk area, was a Falkirk FC fan, and that he left the hotel and returned to his home town a short while after the photo was taken.

“We subsequently discovered the photographer was in his early 20s in 1990, and that only two boys of the right name and age were born in the Falkirk area, one in

1965 and the other in 1968.

"Elsewhere, two other witnesses have also come forward and alleged officials from the Ministry of Defence visited the hotel in 1990. Meanwhile, we have learned a man

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of the right name and age currently works for the Ministry of Defence as a photo analyst at the same base to which the photos were sent for analysis in 1990.

"This man, when contacted, told us that he had ‘no recollection’ of being in Scotland in the period in question.”

Matthew, Dr Clarke and the team have now reached a dead end in their search for the elusive photographer, so they contacted The Falkirk Herald to see if a news article in the area would help jog anyone’s memory.

Matthew said: “Despite all our efforts, we have been unable to definitively trace the photographer, although according to all the evidence we have amassed, he is still alive and in his 50s."